Scenic Railroads of Arizona: Sedona and Grand Canyon

Experience the wonders of Sedona and the Grand Canyon via two historic railways as you join experts to learn about the local history, culture and charm of these iconic landscapes.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 1083RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The wonders of Sedona and the Grand Canyon are well known, but few visit these locales via scenic and historic railway. Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad through Arizona’s rim country along the wild and scenic Verde River. Later in the week, embark on an overnight adventure to Grand Canyon National Park via the historic Grand Canyon Railway. Throughout your journey gain insights into regional lore as you explore this breathtaking part of northern Arizona.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile on varied terrain. Optional longer hike at the Grand Canyon. Elevations of 4,500-7,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy a narrated exploration of Sedona’s best-loved sights and red-rock vistas.
  • Travel through dramatic Oak Creek Canyon en route to historic Williams for embarkation on the Grand Canyon Railway excursion.
  • Stay overnight at a Grand Canyon lodge, explore historic village sites and absorb incomparable canyon views.

General Notes

Transportation on this program is by full-sized motor coach, with approximately 35-40 participants. For a program that visits both Sedona and the Grand Canyon with less of a focus on trains, please see "Best of Sedona: Natural & Cultural Landscapes in Red Rock Country (#1062)".
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Stanley S. Beus
From his early days growing up on a dairy farm in Idaho, Dr. Stanley Beus quickly became fascinated with nature. He earned a Ph.D. in geology from UCLA before beginning a career as an exploration geologist, and later became the first head of the Geology Department at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Beus has been both a field and class instructor for Road Scholar programs for over 20 years, and has enjoyed bringing geology to life for literally thousands of participants.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Gael Summer
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Stanley S. Beus
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Secret Sedona: Sacred Moments in the Landscape
by Larry Lindahl
This book provides an overview of the terrain, ancestral Indian ruins and petroglyphs found in Sedona's wilderness areas. Extraordinary photography from one of the nations most photogenic areas. 80 pages.
Grand Canyon Geology
by Beus, Stanley
This second edition of the leading book on Grand Canyon geology contains the most recent discoveries and interpretations of the origin and history of the canyon. It includes two entirely new chapters: one on debris flow in the Canyon and one on the impact of water flow releases from the Glen Canyon Dam. All chapters have been updated where necessary and all photographs have been replaced or re-screened for better resolution. Written by acknowledged experts in stratigraphy, paleontology, structural geology, geomorphology, volcanism and seismology, this book offers a wealth of information for geologists and general readers interested in acquiring an understanding of the geological history of this great natural wonder. 423pp
An Introduction to Grand Canyon Prehistory
by Coder, Christopher M.
People have inhabited Grand Canyon for the past twelve thousand years. Evidence of their lives exists throughout the canyon; but it is up to their ancestors and archaeologists to interpret those remains for us. This book provides a popular look at the architecture, art, and tools of prehistoric Puebloan peoples, as well as information about modern-day Native American tribes. With illustrations and color photographs.
Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region
by Anderson, Michael F
A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region. 184pp
Arizona: A Cavalcade of History
by Trimble, Marshall
During America's first 100 years as a nation, pioneers moved ever-westward to new frontiers. When it became too crowded or the soil was mined out, they moved on to virgin land. Those days are gone forever. We have to learn to live with the problems we create. The knowledge gained from studying the mistakes of the past can help provide a better future. Will Rogers said it best: "The Indians never got lost because they were always looking back to see where they'd been." 368pp
Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery
by Ranney, Wayne
Ranney explains how rivers in general can physically carve canyons, looks chronologically at the numerous theories that have been presented by successive generations of geologists regarding the Grand Canyon's formation, and describes a plausible sequence of geologic events that could create such a landscape. Numerous color photographs, detailed illustrations, and maps are provided. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 160pp; 2nd edition 2012.
The Archaeology of Ancient Arizona
by Jefferson Reid and Stephanie Whittlesey
General overview of the archaeology of Arizona written by archaeologists with combined experience of over half a century of a combination of laboratory and fieldwork.
Sedona through time: Geology of the Red Rocks
by Ranney, Wayne
Visitors to the towering red rock cliffs near Sedona seldom realize that the area was once a broad river floodplain that lay beyond the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. Or that this same place was later buried in a vast, Sahara-like desert, still later to lie beneath the waters of a warm tropical sea filled with ancient life forms. Sedona Through Time is an eminently readable story of the evolution of this fantastic landscape through the eons of geologic time.

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